“What the hell do you do all week that you need to choose to miss anything that happens at church?” She asked with confusion in her voice.
I remember feeling defensive, but fighting to hear the real question, ‘why aren’t you available on my schedule?’
Ministry is incredibly rewarding. It is my job to build my relationship with Jesus Christ, to open myself to the movement of the Holy Spirit, and to become more deeply connected with my creator whose divine spark gives me life. How awesome is it that that is my job? It is also my job to help others build a relationship with Jesus Christ, to open themselves to the movement of the Holy Spirit, and to become more deeply connected with their creator whose divine spark gives them life. And those moments when I am there to see God’s people get it? Those are the moments when ministry is most rewarding. When the children understand the scriptures better than I can explain them; when the people begin sharing ideas about a walk-up hot meal kitchen; when the people start realizing that they are already doing evangelism when they talk about church or church family; those are the moments worth the energy and time of ministry.
Those who see me only on Sunday, might believe that my work in ministry is supposed to happen in 20 minute weekly dashes in between prayers, music, and communion. And for some that is what they get. Others might understand that when we are working on a Vision Statement and a strategic plan for ministry, and we are searching for a youth director, and we are hosting and participating in Vacation Bible School with 169 children, and we are planning an evangelism workshop, and we are planning a stewardship workshop, and we are preparing for Bible Study in the fall, and I am attending the General Assembly, and counseling Church Camp, and visiting and/or counseling people (sometimes it is during regular business hours, but not usually), and visiting homebound, and preparing for an on-line class in the fall, and not to mention we are transitioning leadership and there is a board meeting and there are monthly elder’s meetings, and ministry team meetings, and administration team meetings, and Senior Women Eating Lunch Society gatherings, and Mobile Pantry, and meetings with the Moderator and vice-Moderator of the board, and meetings with the Elder chair and vice-chair, and Pastoral Relationship Committee; and I still preach a sermon almost every week, and lead a worship service; there is a lot that happens in ministry. So sometimes I have to choose.
This ministry is not my ministry, though. There are at least 50 people who make this ministry happen. And I am proud and grateful to work with all of you! Not to mention the Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit…they have a little to do with ministry too. I am grateful for the colleagues who offer support, and for a coach who had good wisdom, and a regional staff who encourages good ministry, and for a family (TBtG for my family) who sacrifices a lot so that Don and I can follow a call to ministry. Ministry is incredibly rewarding, but it is not just 20 minutes on Sunday morning. Thanks to a church family who understands my need to follow scriptural advice and practice Sabbath.
In a couple of weeks I will be attending the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Orlando, Fl. This time of study, fellowship, worship, and church business will be a time or work and renewal for me. I look forward to sharing with you all my experience of the Holy when I return. Thank you for your prayers and blessings.